Forest department asked to probe snake rescuer's death in Sewri

Updated: May 18, 2019, 07:47 IST | Ranjeet Jadhav

The Honorary Wildlife Warden of Mumbai City, Sunish Subramanian Kunju, has written a letter to the Range Forest Officer of Mumbai Range requesting the authorities to investigate the death of rescuer Raju Solanki

Forest department asked to probe snake rescuer's death in Sewri
Raju Solanki

In yet another incident, that highlights how free handling of a venomous snake can prove fatal, a rescuer from central Mumbai lost his life on Wednesday, when he allegedly tried to perform a stunt while rescuing a snake.

The Honorary Wildlife Warden of Mumbai City, Sunish Subramanian Kunju, has written a letter to the Range Forest Officer of Mumbai Range requesting the authorities to investigate the death of rescuer Raju Solanki, who died at KEM hospital on May 15. Solanki, 20, was called to rescue the snake that had entered a house in Sewri Koliwada.

Sunish said, "It's a really unfortunate incident where a youngster died as he allegedly tried to perform a stunt by handling a venomous snake during a rescue at central Mumbai few days back. Over the years such incidents have increased and we don't want more youngsters to lose their lives. The Forest Department should investigate the death of the person and find the NGO with which he was associated. The NGO should be given a warning about not indulging in free handling of snakes which are protected as per Wildlife Protection Act." As per the Act, scheduled (protected) animals/ reptiles/ birds should not be touched by hand during a rescue. Free handling of snakes without using a stick is termed a 'stunt'.

"We have been telling snake rescuers their safety is more important, but some people do not follow instructions, because of which unfortunate incidents happen. We appeal to people that if they see anyone free handling snakes they should inform us, and strict action will be taken against those responsible," said an FD official.

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